Michael Dunlop shortlisted for Torrens Trophy
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Barrie Baxter, Chairman of the Torrens Trophy Nominations Committee said,
“We are delighted to have teamed up once again with Motorcycle Live. It seems only appropriate to announce the contenders of one of the most prestigious industry trophies at the UK’s largest bike show. The Torrens Trophy celebrates an individual or organisation considered to have made an outstanding contribution to motor cycling in Britain.”
Each year the Royal Automobile Club awards a series of historic trophies and medals to individuals and organisations, celebrating and recognising outstanding achievements, technical skills and innovation in the motoring and motor sport industries.
Last year's Torrens Trophy recipient was TT racer Hutchinson. His outstanding determination was a tale of courage and overcoming adversity. From nearly losing his leg and having to endure over 30 gruelling operations to returning to the pinnacle of a sport which dealt him a cruel blow and win multiple TT’s was one of the sport's most courageous stories.
The Club’s Torrens Trophy Nominations Committee consists of Chairman and ex-bike racer Barrie Baxter, Royal Automobile Club member Ben Cussons, well-respected motorcycle journalist Mat Oxley, former racer and commentator Steve Parrish, Club member Richard Bourne (son of motor cycle journalist, Arthur Bourne, whom the Trophy is awarded in memory of) and new to the committee is Queen of Bikers Maria Costello MBE who has held the Guinness World Record for being the fastest woman to lap the Isle of Man TT course.
The Torrens Trophy winner will be awarded at the prestigious Pall Mall clubhouse in January 2017. The shortlist of nominees for the 2016 trophy is:
Dunlop won another two Isle of Man TTs last June and raised the Mountain circuit lap record to an astonishing 133.962mph. When it came to riding the fastest bikes around the world’s toughest track, no one could touch him.
The Northern Irishman rode another faultless season in World Superbike to successfully defend his 2015 title and thus become the first man since Carl Fogarty to score back-to-back championship victories in the class.
The former World Supersport champion came of age in MotoGP, twice beating nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi to score Britain’s first premier-class Grand Prix victories since Barry Sheene’s last success way back in 1981.
The Torrens Trophy
The Royal Automobile Club has always had a close association with the motor cycling world. The Club formed the Auto Cycle Club in 1903, which went on to become the Auto Cycle Union in 1947. The first Tourist Trophy race was held on the Isle of Man in 1905 for cars - two years before the first TT for motorcycles.
The Torrens Trophy recognises an individual or organisation considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the cause of safe and skillful motorcycling in the United Kingdom OR to have made an outstanding contribution of technical excellence to further the cause of motor cycling in the UK OR to have shown outstanding skill in international motor cycling sporting events in the United Kingdom.
The Torrens Trophy was first awarded in 1978 in memory of Arthur Bourne, a motorcycling journalist who wrote a column under the name Torrens. Arthur Bourne was also a Vice-Chairman of the RAC. It has only been awarded nine times in its history and only when the club feels that the achievement justifies it.
Previous winners of the Torrens Trophy include:
1989: BMW in recognition of their contribution to motor cycle safety through their development of their anti-lock braking system.
1998: The Metropolitan Police’s Ian Kerr for 20 years of tireless work in promoting safe and responsible motorcycling.
2008: World Superbike Champion James Toseland for his immense contribution to raising the profile of motorcycle racing in this country.
2013: Tom Sykes for being crowned the fifteenth World Superbike Champion, the fourth from Great Britain and only the second rider to win for Kawasaki in the series for twenty years.
2014: Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne for his unique achievement of securing a fourth British Superbike Championship.
2015: Ian Hutchinson for his outstanding determination, courage and overcoming adversity to win multiple TT’s.
The Royal Automobile Club:
The Royal Automobile Club was founded in 1897 and its distinguished history mirrors that of motoring itself. In 1907, King Edward Vii awarded the Club its Royal title, sealing the Club’s status as Britain’s oldest and most influential motoring organisation.
The Club’s early years were focused on promoting the motor car and its place in society, which developed into motoring events such as the 1000 Mile Trial, first held in 1900. In 1905, the Club held the first Tourist Trophy, which remains the oldest continuously competed for motor sports event. The Club promoted the first pre-war and post-war Grands Prix at Brooklands in 1926 and Silverstone in 1948 respectively, whilst continuing to campaign for the rights of the motorist, including introducing the first driving licences.
Today, the Club continues to develop and support automobilism through representation on the Motor Sport Association (MSA), Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and RAC Foundation, while continuing to promote its own motoring events, such as the free-to-attend Regent Street Motor Show and the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which are two of the highlights of the Club’s London Motor Week.
The Royal Automobile Club also awards a series of historic trophies and medals celebrating motoring achievements. These include the Segrave Trophy, the Tourist Trophy, the Simms Medal, the Dewar Trophy, the Torrens Trophy and the Diamond Jubilee Trophy.